HTC claims the HTC 7 Trophy is the gaming handset in its range of Windows Phone 7 mobiles. But with no extras of which to speak that elevate it above its apparently non-gaming siblings, the HTC HD7 and HTC Mozart, it seems an odd branding exercise. Nonetheless, its still a very nice handset.
As with all HTC's Windows Phone 7 handsets, the Trophy has a very clean look and feel thanks to its three touch sensitive buttons along the bottom being integrated into the same glass panel as the 3.8in (480 x 800 resolution) LCD display. Framing this is a simple anodised black strip of aluminium that's been bevelled to give a thin silver trim.
Unlike the Mozart, the Trophy's aluminium construction doesn't make its way onto the back. Instead it's black soft touch plastic but nevertheless it both looks and feels great.
The camera on the back is a five megapixel unit with an LED flash, which is the minimum stipulated by Microsoft. We didn't get a chance to see the results of the camera but it was easy to use, loading fast with an intuitive camera interface - something that is helped by the inclusion of a shutter button on the right edge of the phone.
Also dotted round the phone's edges are the screen lock button and headphone jack on the top and a microUSB socket that is used for charging the phone and transferring files on the left.
The Trophy's glass capacitive touchscreen feels very responsive and accurate as do its touch sensitive buttons. Likewise, all the physical buttons round the edges are easy to use.
As Microsoft has stipulated that the Windows Phone 7 interface can't be messed with, our early impressions of the Trophy's software tie-in almost exactly with our thoughts on Windows Phone 7 in general. Those being that it's slick and easy to use but it clearly has some limitations like its rather spartan and blocky new interface and no copy and paste. Whether these prove to be too much of a hindrance though is something we'll have to determine when we have more time with the device.
While the interface may be uniform, HTC does bring something new to the table in the form of its Sense Hub. This brings together a selection of mini apps akin to the widgets seen on HTC's Windows Phone 6.5 and Android devices. They're things like an animated weather viewer, a stock ticker and something called simply Love. A nice addition though these are, they're unlikely to be enough to persuade you one way or the other.
The HTC Trophy upon first impression is a really nice device in terms of build quality and aesthetics and functionally it seems to be on par with its peer. However, it doesn't really have a stellar selling point and as such its appeal will largely come down to price, which we've yet to confirm. As such Vodafone will have to make sure it isn't overcome by the temptation to keep prices high thanks to its exclusive access to this phone.